The Emergencies Act inquiry has heard from police and native politicians, however now one other group is set to share their perspective — the protesters.
Chris Barber, Tamara Lich and Pat King are names many shall be aware of, however this week’s witness checklist additionally options some individuals who is probably not as well-known.
The testimony is anticipated to dig into areas that would not essentially be lined throughout prison trials associated to the convoy. It must also present some behind-the-scenes particulars from the viewpoint of those that occupied a part of Ottawa’s downtown throughout the protest towards COVID-19 well being measures final winter.
Here’s a glance at the individuals anticipated to testify over the subsequent few days because the Public Order Emergency Commission continues.
This week, quite a lot of protesters are slated to testify earlier than the inquiry, beginning with Barber, a trucker from Saskatchewan with a big social media following who was a key organizer of the convoy.
Barber was charged with mischief, obstructing police, and counselling others to commit mischief and intimidation. He was launched on bail and is awaiting trial.
Along with Barber, truck driver and organizer Brigitte Belton can be anticipated to testify.
An overview of early protest actions pulled collectively by the general public inquiry attorneys states Belton posted a video on TikTok on Nov. 16, 2021 after being stopped at the Windsor-Detroit border crossing for failing to put on a masks.
In the video she “voiced frustration” with public well being measures and mentioned “In Canada, we’re now not free,” the doc states. The overview provides Belton later linked with Barber and appeared alongside him and others on a Facebook Live assembly hosted by Pat King the place routes and logistics for the convoy had been mentioned.
Following Belton is Steeve Charland, a person from Grenville, Que., who’s often known as a spokesperson for Les Farfadaas, a Quebec group fashioned to protest towards public well being measures.
That group was fashioned from La Meute, regarded by specialists to be a far proper, anti-Islam and anti-immigration group.
Tom Marazzo is amongst these known as to testify this week. He’s an ex-military officer whose LinkedIn profile states he served within the Canadian Forces for 25 years and now works as a contract software program developer.
That profile additionally lists “Freedom Convoy 2022 Volunteer” as his most up-to-date position, from February to the current.
Marazzo is listed as a member of the steering committee for Veterans For Freedom, which describes itself on-line as a grassroots group of veterans working to “restore elementary freedoms.”
One of the better-known names on the witness checklist is King.
He spent 5 months in jail earlier than being granted bail in July.
King, an Alberta resident, was a number one determine within the convoy protest towards COVID-19 restrictions.
He was arrested on Feb. 18 on 4 costs: mischief, counselling to commit mischief, counselling to commit the offence of disobeying a court docket order and counselling to impede police. He additionally faces extra costs of obstructing justice and perjury.
Benjamin Dichter, who describes himself on social media as a spokesperson for the convoy protest, will even be questioned. He beforehand ran as a candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada.
James Bauder and Daniel Bulford
James Bauder, one other of the protest organizers, will testify as effectively. He’s answerable for creating the Canada Unity group and web site that helped develop the preliminary convoy plan.
Also showing shall be Daniel Bulford, a former RCMP officer who was on the prime minister’s safety element. He stop after refusing to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and is the convoy’s head of safety.
Lich is one other well-known convoy determine and a key organizer of the protest.
She was charged together with Barber and frolicked out and in of custody amid bail evaluations earlier than being launched in July to await trial.
Lich has been seen observing the inquiry because it bought underway.
A more moderen addition to the witness checklist is Keith Wilson, the lawyer representing a number of protesters dealing with prison costs.
He beforehand mentioned their testimony throughout the inquiry is protected and cannot be used towards them in court docket.
“Tamara Lich and Chris Barber and others who’re dealing with prison costs arising from the protests are protected to testify and be clear and inform the reality,” Wilson mentioned. “They’re obligated to reply the questions.”